18 June, 2012

Rock of Ages



Here's a movie for you if, and only if, you are a 80s child or maybe if you are a die-hard rock fan. Based on the musical of the same name, this film adaptation casts Tom Cruise as Stacee Jaxx, a rock legend whose similarities with Guns 'N' Roses front-man Axl Rose are a bit uncanny. A story about a small town girl arriving in Hollywood and falling in love with a city boy, almost instantly, remains the weakest point of the film. Granted Julianne Hough playing Sherrie and Diego Boneta as the city boy Drew are both vocally talented, but their on-screen chemistry leave a lot to be desired. Amidst a number of rock ballads and a few rock songs, the cast go about falling in love, rediscovering themselves, and saving the "last" rock institution left on the sunset strip, The Bourbon Room, owned by Dennis Dupree (Alec Baldwin) and his right-hand man Lonny (Russell Brand).

It's probably the versatility of Tom Cruise that takes the audience by surprise and also manages to be the saving grace of the film. His vocal talents and screen presence is simply outstanding and in stark contrast of the roles that he normally performs. While most of the other characters are grossly underdeveloped, it seems that only Tom Cruise and Paul Giamatti as Stacee Jaxx's manager Paul Gill are the two actors really enjoying their roles.

Rock of Ages is a great excuse to get together with your high school chums, but unfortunately due to the whole lovey-dovey storyline it ends up choosing songs that have been done to death in film earlier or even covered by the cast of Glee. I was glad to hear Tom Cruise take on Def Leppard's "Pour Some Sugar On Me" as his opening number for it remains one of the most underrated rock songs from the time.

The remaining cast of Catharina Zeta-Jones as the Mayor's wife out to shut down The Bourbon Room, Malin Ackerman as the Rolling Stones reporter interviewing Stacee Jaxx, Alec Baldwin and Russell Brand go about with roles that have very little meat to them. While Lonny would have been a character that was right up Russell's alley, it seems he holds back owing to the fact that the film was rated 12A so it could appeal to a wider audience. Alec Baldwin and Catharina Zeta-Jones bring nothing new to their characters portraying toned down versions of acts they have done before in films or TV series.

Rock of Ages has its comic moments, but isn't laugh-out-loud funny. It has foot tapping rock music, but not songs that would want you to stand up and sing and dance in the aisles. It has performances that shine, while others that just don't leave any impact. In the end it remains a walk down memory lane, one that starts with Guns 'N' Roses' Paradise City, and should have in all honestly ended with Sweet Child O' Mine, but alas that is not the case.

Rating - 3/5      
        

7 comments:

  1. i don't know why people weren't expecting this to be cheesy t's the 80s! and the movie captured that well. i totally enjoyed it.

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    1. Hi Candice... I loved the cheezy part of the film without a doubt and I agree that it was meant to be cheezy, but I would differentiate between cheezy and lovey-dovey. Nevertheless, it was a fun watch, but not something for repeated viewings.

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  2. I loved it and really didn't object to the musical choice - you put Poison's "Every Rose Has Its Thorn" and Starship's "We Built This City On Rock and Roll" into one movie and I'm pretty much sold!!! :)

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    1. Okay they might not be in the same movie, but they have been done to death in movies in general. Nevertheless, I think I am just so disappointed they didn't end with Sweet Child O' Mine especially since Malin's character is shown to be pregnant in the end... it would have been the perfect ending.

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  3. Not the first muted response to this film. I wasn't very impressed by the trailer but thought Tom Cruise performance was probably one worth checking out. I'm now beginning to worry this self-parody is becoming a little stale.

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  4. 80's music isn't my favorite type out there, but I liked this flick mainly because every time a song would come out of nowhere, the energy and campy fun just made me have a ball. Still, the story sucked and took away from everything else. Good review Raghav.

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    1. I liked that although TC was having fun he didn't really make his act into an all out parody. I do agree the musical aspect was fun in a cheesy way, but would have liked more rock than ballads. Thanks for stopping by twice Dan :-)

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